Saturday 12 December 2015

Roofing tiles factories on verge of closure

Mahbubabad (Warangal): Following innovative changes in housing and decoration, one after another roofing tiles factories are being closed throughout Telangana rendering about 4,000 workers without livelihood.

The tile industry has seen its peak days when the then AP Government used to purchase roofing tiles for the construction of houses for the poor. A number of factories were established in 1978 in East Godavari, Krishna, Khammam, Warangal, Medak districts. 

On the highway between Mahabubabad –Illendu, 24 roofing tile factories were established. Lakshmi Tiles factory was established in Bayyaram mandal since the clay available in the irrigation tank at Bayyaram was suitable for tile production.  

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With the support of the State government the tile industry thrived day by day. Eventually, 24 factories in Khammam and Warangal districts, 20 factories near Nuzvid in Krishna district, 50 factories near Jaggampet in East Godavari district, three factories in Kothavalasa in Vizianagaram district, 14 factories near Siddhipet in Medak district, were started. Directly and indirectly several thousands of workers were given employment.  

During 1980, 80 per cent of production was used for constructing houses for weaker sections. However, by 1996, the state government took a decision to construct concrete slabs for housing giving a big blow to the tiles industry. Several industries were closed when huge stocks remained unsold.

Some of the industries changed the designs and started producing designer tiles for decorating the buildings. Chiefly, industries in Khammam and Warangal districts started exporting tiles to Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states.

Those state governments while approving construction of houses set a condition that the roofs must be decorated with tiles to absorb the heat consequently reducing the power consumption. There was again demand for decorative tiles and the industries heaved a sigh of relief.

But their happiness was short-lived. The innovative digital plates have replaced the tiles and naturally, various state governments also relaxed the rules while decorating the roofs. 

Mainly, the decorate tiles manufactured in Gujarat are cheaper and more aesthetic attracting the consumers to use them. 

Now the future of tiles factories are back to square one. At least 4,000 workers face the threat of losing of livelihood.  Unless the Telangana State Government imposes a rule to use the decorative tiles while sanctioning building plans, there every danger these tile factories may be closed forever.